Launch of hydrogen South West consortium to accelerate the transition to a net zero future

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Nine leading organisations join forces to drive the development of a hydrogen infrastructure ecosystem

Consortium will enable cross-sector partnerships to produce, utilise, capture, store and transport hydrogen across the South West and beyond

Major step in UK’s ambitious target to deliver 10 GW of hydrogen production by 2030

A group of nine leading organisations covering aerospace, shipping, hi-tech engineering and  public utilities have come together to launch Hydrogen South West, a partnership which will create an infrastructure ecosystem that will bring the benefits of hydrogen to the South West of England.

This infrastructure ecosystem of key industries aims to decarbonise transport, commerce and power, while driving sustainable growth, upskilling the region and delivering new job opportunities.

Focusing on key sectors such as shipping, aviation and housing as well as industry, the consortium comprises leading companies GKN Aerospace, easyJet, Airbus and Hynamics (EDF); consultants and engineers Costain and Wood; and regional leaders Bristol Port, Bristol Airport, and Wales and West Utilities

The collaboration creates links between supply and demand centres in the region, and enables cross-sector partnerships that will drive the development of hydrogen infrastructure and technology.

Hydrogen South West supports the government’s ambitious drive to generate 10 GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. It will also provide a means for further representation and collaboration in national initiatives.

Several pilot projects are planned, including:

Hydrogen Hub at Bristol Port – a study is underway to explore configuring the port to accept hydrogen or ammonia by ship, power landside vehicles with hydrogen and establish a hydrogen production facility at the port. The project includes developing a local pipeline network and supporting Airbus’ hydrogen-powered aircraft of the future

Project Acorn – easyJet aims to begin flying hydrogen aircraft as soon as they are commercially viable. To prepare the ground, the company will continue with the research and development of hydrogen powered Ground Support Equipment at Bristol Airport

The South West has a rich engineering and energy history, and is home to a powerful cluster of leading aerospace, transport and logistics businesses. This combination of industrial experience, delivery expertise and regional knowledge presents a formidable opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to alternative power at scale.

Simon Earles Hydrogen South West chair

Max Brown, VP Technology at GKN Aerospace said: “The next decade is critical to build the foundations of a sustainable future, which will require significant collaboration across industries and Government. Hydrogen is set to play a key role in that future, as we collaborate to achieve the Government’s Net Zero 2050 targets.

“There are clearly major challenges to develop the infrastructure needed and Hydrogen South West has been established to help meet this challenge head-on. GKN Aerospace is already exploring the technology to enable hydrogen-powered zero carbon emissions flight, and with its strong industrial ecosystem, we see the South West as the ideal hub for hydrogen development in the coming years.”

The partnership is working with Business West to create a skills development proposition that would bring upskilling and employment benefits to communities across the West of England. This has been formalised with the Hydrogen South West Skills Consortium. By driving investment and innovation in decarbonising technology, the South West is poised to become a centre of excellence for hydrogen expertise.

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